The Philadelphia Handicapped Encounter with Christ Retreat Program

Dedicated to the Positive Recognition of the Worth of Each Person

HEC is currently engaged in small circle events engaging members of the community at local gatherings and celebrations. If you wish to be placed on our contact list so as to be informed of our endeavors, please email

What is HEC?

  • HEC is a retreat experience founded to offer people who have physical disabilities an opportunity to come together in community to pray, reflect and celebrate their life with God.
  • HEC strives to offer an inviting atmosphere where all people can experience a sense of value, wholeness, and worth; a place where people feel loved and accepted for who they are.
  • In a spirit of faith and love, HEC provides opportunities to enjoy community experiences that are not readily available to people with physical disabilities. Through this community, all people are empowered to develop a strong connection to God, to each other, and to themselves.
  • HEC creates a space where able-bodied and dis-abled people alike, can join with people of other faith traditions, races, and walks of life to share life’s journey within a supportive and loving community.
  • HEC is a justice movement! Human rights and the potentials of each and every person are honored through the marriage of common sense, raised consciousness and Gospel inspired compassion.
  • At HEC, we're convinced that we each have the ability to make the world a better place, no matter what challenges we might face in life. HEC offers the community ways to make that happen. We all have disabilities - some have physical limitations while others have less apparent spiritual or emotional challenges. By nurturing spiritual growth through retreats, fellowship, life/faith-sharing opportunities, prayer, and liturgy, all participants are empowered by the Spirit to learn a way of living in which God’s love is made visible in the world.

HEC provides opportunities to:

  • smile, laugh and celebrate
  • encounter God actively in each other and in each of our lives
  • deepen spiritually through community, retreat, and fellowship
  • grow in self confidence to face the challenges of everyday life

HEC seeks to create an environment where:

  • all people experience a sense of wholeness and worth
  • people realize their gifts and share them more fully
  • openness, practical compassion, and service are valued

Contact Person

Margie Kernicky
2 Barley Cone Lane
Rosemont, PA 19010

[610] 519–4080

St. Rita Hall
800 E. Lancaster Avenue
Villanova, PA 19085

Tolle Lege


Alleluia! Alleluia! In the spirit of St. Augustine, let us consider the Gospel for Divine Mercy Sunday as we continue to celebrate the Easter season. The Gospel opens with a picture of us, Christ’s disciples: afraid, doubting, locked up. Oftentimes, like the disciples in the Gospel, I find it difficult to understand the significance and beauty of Christ’s Death and Resurrection. I am happy on Easter Sunday, but am not sure how to celebrate the other 50 days of Easter. In that doubt and confusion, I have a tendency to turn inwards in my faith. For Jesus, this must make very little sense. However, in His infinite and compassionate mercy, He comes to His disciples and simply offers us peace. As we approach Divine Mercy Sunday, may we be aware of the simplicity and necessity of Christ’s peace, which is given to us as freely as each breath we take.

Getting Involved Service Break wall raising

Interested in Getting Involved with Campus Ministry? We offer over 50 programs that are sure to fit every personality and lifestyle!

Service & Volunteering
Liturgical Ministry
Faith-Sharing & Support Groups

One-Day Decision Making retreat
Sunday, March 23rd

Search 48
March 28-30

A Day of Escape for Freshmen
April 5

Freshman Escape
April 11-13

Connections Retreat
June 27-29